The Chicago area is getting a taste of the North Pole for Christmas this year in multiple ways.
As an arctic blast brings bitter temperatures to northern Illinois, northwest Indiana is bracing for what will likely be a "white Christmas."
Wind chills early Thursday morning had dipped below zero in the Chicago area, a dramatic shift from the 50s and 60s seen just one day earlier. And the rest of Christmas Eve won't bring much relief as highs are only set to rise in the teens and near 20 degrees. But single-digit lows could bring wind chills as low as -10.
Things could be even colder on Friday, as the region could see single digit air temperatures, with strong northwesterly winds combining with the frigid air temperature to drop wind chills well below zero for the holiday.
Meanwhile, part of northwest Indiana is under a winter storm warning.
The warning takes effect for LaPorte County at 3 p.m. CST Thursday and continues through 3 p.m. Friday, warning of 3 to 8 inches of snow, with some seeing as much as 10 inches.
A winter weather advisory is also in effect in Porter County from 3 p.m. CST Thursday to noon Friday. The advisory indicates 1 to 4 inches of snow is possible.
Lake Effect snow is expected to begin late Thursday afternoon and continue through Friday morning before tapering off Friday afternoon.
"Significant accumulations will result in snow covered roads and difficult driving conditions," the alert warns.
For those residents hoping for a white Christmas, the region could see some pre-dawn flurries on the Western side of Lake Michigan.
Things look to warm up slightly heading into the weekend, with highs reaching into the 30s and near 40 degrees.